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Re: Proposal: Rename ./configure --with-apache to --with-static-apache

From: Julian Foad <julianfoad_at_btopenworld.com>
Date: 2005-10-06 16:00:45 CEST

Max Bowsher wrote:
> People often want to build mod_dav_svn as a shared module, but seldom
> want to statically link it into the apache binary.
> However, new users viewing our ./configure --help output keep noticing
> --with-apache, and not noticing --with-apxs, and doing the wrong thing.
> Therefore, I propose to rename --with-apache to --with-static-apache,
> and make specifying --with-apache a fatal error.
> Regarding compatibility issues - whilst we shouldn't unnecessarily
> change ./configure options, I don't think the ./configure command line
> is totally frozen like an API, and the decreased possibility for
> confusion will be well worth it in this instance, I think.

-0 on making the current option a fatal error straight away. I'd rather leave
it till a later version, so as not to annoy those who are invoking this option
from a script. The possibility for confusion will be reduced by the help text
that goes along with the new option name, and/or improved help text for the
current option name.

+1 to adding a better name as a synonym and deprecating the old one (perhaps
just in the help text).

However, take a look at both options:

   --with-apache=DIR Build static Apache module. DIR is the path to the
                           top-level Apache source directory.
   --with-apxs[=FILE] Build shared Apache module. FILE is the optional
                           pathname to the Apache apxs tool; defaults to "apxs".

If the former is to be called "with-static-apache", shouldn't the latter be
called "with-shared-apache"? But...

More fundamentally, the "--with-..." options to "configure" are supposed to
specify optional packages to be used or included by the package being built,
and/or where to find them. We are not requesting Subversion to be built "with"
(as in "using") a certain kind of Apache. Options to generate additional
output should be called "--enable-..." I think building an Apache module is
more "generating additional output" than "including Apache in the build".

Take a look at the existing "--enable" options relating to static/shared
builds, and make the Apache module options consistent with those.

                           build shared libraries [default=yes]
                           build static libraries [default=yes]
   --enable-all-static Build completely static (standalone) binaries.

The help text for these may need tweaking to make clear whether they can refer
to Apache modules.

Lastly, don't we now offer two Apache modules, mod_authz_svn and mod_dav_svn?
In that case, the descriptions of the options need updating to reflect this.
(Maybe just "module" -> "modules".)

(Please excuse any misunderstanding on my part. I'm no expert on Apache or our
build process.)

- Julian

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Received on Thu Oct 6 16:05:34 2005

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